Interview with Playwright Tyler English-Beckwith

  What is your identity?

I am a Black woman. Writer. Fighter. Lover. Twerker. Some-time actor.


Tell us about TWENTYEIGHT and other pieces that you are working on.
 TWENTYEIGHT is currently running at The Vortex. I just finished a full length play called Mingus about a famous black intellectual’s relationship with two of his students. I also recently finished a TWENTYEIGHT screenplay.  TWENTYEIGHT is about four Black people from different cities around the country who have come to Settlement 40, TX to build a space shuttle that will take them to the Liberian Space Station, but when two new people arrive, their flight path changes.


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via Tyler English-Beckwith

Why do you write?
 Honestly, I write for the power. I write because when I create a world, no one can invalidate my rules, my thoughts, my imagination. I invent what it means to be human on the page. Good and evil comes from my own mind. Hate and love are defined by experience. When I write, unlike when I live in this world, who I am, without alteration, is the prototype.


What advice do you have for African Diasporic, Black, Latinx and Afrolatinx theatre artists?
Don’t be afraid to write about the things that scare you, things that have hurt you, but most of all do be afraid to write the things that truly bring you pleasure. It is not your job to shine a light on all of the evils of the world all of the time. It is simply your job to tell the story that is rumbling around in your stomach aching to come out.


Plugs please.
 TWENTYEIGHT is running at The Vortex in Austin every weekend night at 8pm (including Thursday) until August 19th. My website is in terrible shape and is currently “under construction” as we used to say in the Myspace days. Just check back at tylerenglishbeckwith.com and soon, very soon, something will be there for you to see.


 What has been a challenge in this career?
The hardest thing about being a writer is writing. Having written is the absolute best feeling, but when I sit down at my laptop and see an empty page I have every urge to find something better to do. But once I start, I can’t stop. Starting is the biggest challenge.


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via Tyler English-Beckwith
Advice for those interested in pursuing an MFA?
Pursuing an MFA is all about discipline. It’s about churning out pages even when you’re not “inspired”. It’s hearing the feedback you’re afraid to receive. It tests your limits, and will often make you question your place in the world as a writer. But, for me, it has placed in my life a group of talented writers. I learn from their work, and their notes, and I’d like to think they learn from mine. Such a structured program is not for everyone, but so far, it has been beneficial to me


How can people find your work?
You may follow me on twitter @twowaypager, but please be advised that I tweet exactly what I want to tweet and I am an avid user of the block button. I’m also on instagram @tyleronline.


#Teatrolatinegro
The space for Black, Latinx, Afrolatinx and Afro-diasporic theatre.
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